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VICTORY AT TARVIS, NEWMARK, AND HUNDSMARK. 99
Germany and Dalmatia ; the snow in some places was three feet in depth, and the cavalry frequently charged on fields of ice. All the elements of nature in her most rigorous climate, and frightful region, were brought into the contest ; but, frightful as they were, they interposed but a feeble barrier against the victorious career of the French. They encountered and conquered at the same time the power of Austria and the Alps.
The brilliant successes of the republican troops called forth from the government and the nation the most distinguished marks of approbation. The directory addressed letters to each of the generals, pointing out the instances in which they had personally been distinguished, and the particular services which they had rendered to their country.
After the decisive victory at Tarvis, the French armies in several divisions, under Massena, Bernadotte, and Joubert, with the principal force led on by Bonaparte himself, extending from the mountains of Tyrol, to Carniola, advanced rapidly towards the capital of Germany. Although the Austrians repeatedly renewed the contest, they were uniformly defeated, and could oppose no barrier, nor scarcely a check to the rapid progress of the French. A desperate and sanguinary contest took place near Newmark, between the flower of the Austrian army and Massena's division; and although the former had the advantage of a strong position, well supplied with cannon, they were completely routed, left the field covered with their dead, and lost many prisoners; this engagement was followed by that near Hundsmark, upon the river Mush, where the Imperialists attempted to make a stand. One hour was decisive of the contest; the Austrian rear guard, consisting of four regiments from the army of the Rhine, the bravest of their troops were routed, and the whole of the Imperialists fled with the loss of many killed and prisoners. So rapid was the advance of the French, that the following evening their
THE AUSTRIAN CAPITAL MENACED.
advanced guard, ate the bread and drank the brandy prepared for the Austrian army.
The Austrian army being so reduced, broken and heartless, and it being impossible to raise another, to meet the present emergency, no hope remained of saving the capital. A numerous class, it is true, were disposed to rally round the monarch, and make the last effort for the defence of their sovereign and capital ; but the experience of the past, and the sad fate of the many young and noble volunteers who had joined the standard of the Archduke, discouraged this ardour, and inclined the experienced to believe that such a struggle would be paid for at too dear a price, and afford but little prospect of success. It was the intention of the Archduke Charles, to fall back with his forces, and establish himself in the mountains in the neighbourhood of Vienna; where, if he could not face the invader, he might retard his movements, and afford some check to his hostile designs. But there appearing no chance to save the capital, great alarm and confusion prevailed ; dreading the horrors of a siege thousands fled, and many retiring with heavy hearts, cast the last “longing, lingering look behind,” expecting soon to witness their metropolis and their own dwellings in a conflagration. The conduct of the French republicans, and their heroic leader, had been represented in such an odious light that many of the honest Germans supposed them little better than cannibals; that if they did not eat human flesh, they thirsted for human blood.
But Bonaparte, if not as generous and magnanimous, as brave, knew how to appear so; when he had vanquished and nearly annihilated the forces of the enemy; and when it was evident that there could be no obstacle, to taking the capital, he proposes a pacification, and upon conditions as advantageous to his opponent, as he would have had a right to expect, in case the war had been of a doubtful and indecisive character. He addressed a letter to the Archduke Charles, in
SUSPENSION OF HOSTILITIES.
which he expresses a desire to put an end to a struggle that was ruinous to the vanquished and wasteful to the conquerors. “ Brave soldiers” he observes make war, but desire peace; the war has now lasted six years, men enough have been slaughtered, and evils enough committed against suffering humanity."
The archduke declaring himself equally desirous of peace, sent Bonaparte's letter to Vienna, and a suspension of arms soon followed.
A negociation was opened at Campo Formo ; preliminaries of peace signed in July, and a definitive treaty in October. The Emperor ceded to the French republic, the whole of the Austrian Netherlands, and his possessions in Lombardy, consented to their remaining in possession of certain islands in the Adriatic, and recognized the Cisalpine republic newly constituted in Italy ; and the French ceded to Austria, as a compensation for her losses, Istria, Dalmatia, several Islands in the Adriatic, the City, and a portion of the dominions of the republic of Venice.
The dismemberment of the Venetian Republic which was before independent, was very reprehensible, particularly on the part of the Emperor of Austria ; and little consistent with that regard for the rights of independent States, and respect for the established order of things, which he professed to feel. The rash and violent conduct of the government of Venice afforded some excuse to the French for the part they had in this business. At the time Bonaparte was in the interior of Germany, a report being spread that his army had been drawn into a defile, and was about capitulating, the Venetian government confiding in this rumour, dispatched a disorderly body of troops to attack the posts which Bonaparte had left in Italy. This proceeding originated, from the jealousy of the Venetian aristocracy, which equally with monarchy itself, was. alarmed, at the democratical innovations of the French. And such were the prejudicies and animosity, which they had excited against the French republicans, that
MODERATION OF BONAPARTE.
in executing this measure, all the French, who fell into their power, were put to death.
Bonaparte, informed of these outrages ordered a body of troops, into the Venetian territories, who soon dispersed the army of that republic, entered its capital, and humbled the authors of these violent proceedings. Bonaparte put down the aristocracy which had lasted for so many centuries, established a government on the French model, and levied a contribution amounting to three millions sterling.
If not from a sense of justice and moderation, at least, from profound views of policy, Bonaparte knew how to be as generous as brave, and to assume the ap.. pearance of a magnanimous enemy. When he had repeatedly vanquished and entirely prostrated the military force of Austria, and when it was in his power to have humbled the Emperor, and compelled him to a pacification upon his own conditions, he grants him an honourable and advantageous peace. From the avowed objects of the war on the part of the allies, and the spirit they had displayed, it is easy to conceive how different would have been the terms of peace, in case the tables had been turned, and the Austrian eagles had waved in the vicinity of Paris, instead of the tri-coloured flag, in the neighbourhood of Vienna. After the lapse of years, and after Austria had been again and again, indebted to the clemency of Bonaparte for its preservation, such a case occurred, and we all know what was the result. After having repeatedly consented to beg their crowns of Bonaparte, having acquired the same power over him, that he had repeatedly possessed over them, they rob him of his, and deprive him of his liberty. Such is the difference betwixt little, and noble minds, when possessed of power. It is in vain, to attempt to weaker the force of this contrast, by considering Bonaparte as a usurper, for although, by assuming supreine power he had done great injustice to the nation, and to his fellow citizens, yet this did not concern his neighbours,
and after all, he was the most legitimate monarch in Europe, as he evidently had a large majority of the nation in his favour, which was a better title to sovereignty than all the legitimacy which the heraldry of Europe could furnish.
Upon the upper and the lower Rhine, the campaign was opened early in the Spring, by generals Moreau, and Hoche, with great success on the part of the French; after obtaining many advantages, fighting several battles and taking many thousand prisoners, their victorious march was arrested by the armistice concluded by Bonaparte.
France no enemy left but Great Britain--plan of the war against
her--Bonaparte returns to Paris--receives the highest honours—is courted by all parties-Revolution in the government-Attempt at negociation with Great Britain-The army of England--Alarm in that country--Expedition to Egypt-Battle of Aboukir, and destruction of the French fleetThe French march to Cairo--Battle of the Pyramids--Dialogue between Bonaparte and the Mufti-Victory at El Irish Capture of Jaffa-Siege of Acre--Victory near Mount Ta. bor-Extraordinary exertions to reduce Acre--Siege abandoned.
After the conclusion of a definite Treaty of peace with Austria, France was left with but a single enemy; but that was one of immense power and resources. But the power of the Republic, had also become immense; Italy, Spain and Holland, were its appendages, and all Germany humbled and prostrated.
A gigantic system was adopted, for the prosecution of the war with Britain, consisting of the triple design of contending with her upon her own element, of destroying her commerce and finances, and of promoting